Everybody has their opinion about headphones. In-ear, versus on-ear, versus over ear. Wired, or wireless. Which are the most comfortable, which ones sound the best, or which brands are the most worth the money. I’ve tried a LOT of headphones in my years as a tech blogger, and I can tell you which ones are my top 3 or top 5, but that’s a video for another day … I’m always excited when I get a pair for review that looks different and sound great too. Today, that’s the Marshall Monitor wireless Bluetooth headphones.
Marshall Monitor Bluetooth headphones review
I got a major download of a bunch of new gear from Marshall recently including three of their portable Bluetooth speakers, and you can check out those reviews here on the blog too. The other product I got to try out was the Marshall Monitor over-ear wireless headphones.
Here’s what I found after spending a couple of weeks with them.
Design, styling & comfort: Marshall Monitor Bluetooth headphones
Marshall Monitor headphones are what I’d call retro-minimalist. There’s just one button on the side, and this copper coloured multi-function button will do it all: power, pairing, skip tracks and volume control.
The Marshall Monitor headphones feel really solidly built and tough. The ear cups are rigid and firm, but not in an uncomfortable way. There’s plenty of padding and they feel spongy. The band is well padded and it holds the headphones tightly to my head.
There are cool brass accents on the headphones and retro-looking coiled wire. Overall, I like their look. They also fold up quite small for their size so you can pack them too.
Set up & Pairing Marshall Monitor Bluetooth headphones
To get them paired, push and hold the small copper button on the left ear cup for about five seconds. At first, you’ll hear the sound of them powering up, but keep holding until you hear another sound—this indicates pairing mode is active. Once you hear that second sound, go to your phone’s Settings Menu, then to Bluetooth and click to connect.
Marshall Monitor Bluetooth headphones: What’s in the box?
Inside the package, you’ll get the headphones, a charging cord, a detachable 3.5mm auxiliary cable, and a canvas carrying bag.
Marshall Monitor Bluetooth headphones: Sound quality
Straight to the reason you’re all here: how do these sound? In short: really, really good.
40 mm dynamic drivers are custom tuned to deliver “all-encompassing Hi-Fi sound,” according to Marshall. The Marshall Monitor headphones have great bass. It sounds really resonant and strong but not head-poundingly so. You can easily hear subtleties like breaths and the sweep of brushes on a cymbal. The overall sound is really well-balanced and head-filling. The noise isolation offered by the fat and plushy earcups lets you focus on the music.
Marshall Monitor Bluetooth Technical specs:
- 40mm dynamic transducers
- Impedance: 28 OHM
- Frequency: H
- Sensitivity: 100mV@1kHz +92dBSPL
How loud do Marshall Monitor get?
These headphones will get plenty loud. At about 65-75% of volume, they were loud enough to block out any outside sound but still at a comfortable, albeit loud listening level.
My test playlist on the Marshall Monitor Bluetooth Headphones
I tested out a variety of music on the Marshall Monitor headphones, and some podcasts too:
Dreams – Beck
The wireless connection on the Marshall Monitor seems really strong. I wandered all over my house and left the phone in my office and there was never a drop—not even a crackle.
Copper multi-function button
Marshall put a lot of thought into keeping the design of these headphones clean and streamlined. The small copper multifunction is the chameleon of buttons. Push it in to power on or pair. Click it up or down to adjust the volume. Side to side and you’re skipping tracks. A quick press when there’s an incoming phone call will answer it then hang up, and a double press sends it to voicemail. That same quick press during music playback will pause the sound. The controls are simple, yet natural and intuitive.
Battery life & charging
Marshall promises 30+ hours of battery on a single charge. I can say the battery was indeed long-lasting. I used it off and on over about two weeks, and never needed to recharge once.
To charge the headphones, connect the included Micro USB cable and wait for the light to turn white. Marshall advises that about two hours of charge will get you eight hours of use, so to get these babies full takes a while.
After your initial pairing, the Marshall Monitor Bluetooth headphones will reconnect to that same device once you power them on. I found this worked well, though I was a bit disappointed to see they couldn’t be connected to more than one device at a time (like my phone and tablet).
Overall thoughts: Marshall Monitor headphones
There’s a lot to love with these headphones. The retro style and looks are cool, plus I like the fact they fold down for travel, and that the ear cups provide additional noise isolation thanks to the squishy padding. The multi-function button is genius, and the sound quality is outstanding.
Any cons? You’ve got to watch the fingers on the hinges since they’re metal and will pinch you real good if you don’t watch yourself. These headphones are also really pricey and, at this price, there are other headphones out there that will sound just as good, for a lot less dough. But if you like the looks of these, you’ve got the budget and you want great sounding headphones with great connectivity, you won’t go wrong with the Marshall Monitor Bluetooth headphones.